Federal employees will now have access to transgender healthcare

This past Tuesday, the U.S. Office of Personnel Management told federal employees' health insurers that starting in 2016, they cannot contain blanket exclusions for transgender healthcare in their plans. This means that procedures and treatments for transgender employees, such as hormone replacement therapy, must be covered.

In response to this, Mara Keisling, executive director of the National Center for Transgender Equality, said in a statement:

"The Office of Personnel Management's action eliminating blanket trans exclusions represents a huge step toward ending one of the last remaining ways the federal government itself discriminates against transgender people. Until now, the federal government has been providing discriminatory healthcare plans to its trans employees. Transgender workers have been required to pay out of pocket to cover care deemed necessary by their doctor — often for services that are covered for non-transgender people. This is completely out of step with the medical consensus on this issue and it is discrimination, plain and simple.

With today's announcement, transgender federal employees can now access health care that is so fundamental to their well-being and, in the long-term, will make transgender employees happier and more productive workers. We know that plans will still try to exclude some necessary services, and we will keep pushing to eliminate all insurance discrimination against trans people."

This announcement comes just a week after Nevada joined nine other states in extending this same coverage to their state employees, and advocates around the country are continuting to push for trans-inclusive health insurance coverage for all.